Sunday, September 29, 2013

Instructional Writing Videos

Explain Everything App Assignment with iPad Project

In the past, I noted that there was a story about the skills desired by employers with regard to writing and technology--one such skill was the ability to create instructional videos. This assignment, which was created by Rob Michaelski for the LEAD teaching collaborative, begins to anticipate the digital writings skills asked of students.

In the pedagogical spirit of merging the want and desires of students for their writing and the motivation to integrate digital writing into my teaching, I asked students to create video presentations using the Explain Everything App in the course I teach that is a part of a programmatic iPad project.

Here is the test video I created to direct students to OWL Purdue's MLA formatting guide. It's too long, there is too much text on each slide, and I have pointed this out to students as a 'what not to do.'

Below are a few examples of the videos created by students after one class working-period following one instructional session.

Dangling Modifier by Jennifer and Saron

Affect vs. Effect by Daisy and Jesus

Monday, September 23, 2013

NCTE Twitter Chat Kicks Off Banned Book Week

Because of my research on the outlawing of Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies program in Tucson, AZ, I feel invested in discussions of banned books, especially since I used many of the MAS authors banned in my composition classes.

Last night, I took part in NCTE's online chat via Twitter to kick off Banned Book week. The participants ranged from teachers, students, authors, and even some policy makers, not a single of whom was in favor of banning books. However, I was intrigued by the different ways that experienced teachers and newcomers approached the issue and argued to defend the books they chose to teach. Some of the more interesting responses were things like:
  • You want to ban this book? Have you read it because I have and I'd talk to you about it if you'd like
  • A Guardian story about the importance of not lying to your children about difficult topics
  • Turning controversial material into teachable moments
  • Being a teacher-researcher so that teachers know about the books, controversies and can be prepared to have discussions with parents, students, and administration
Also in part because of my understanding of House Bill 2281, I was interested in the response of teachers who qualified the banned books that they would work to defend. Works like "worthy" and "legitimate" were used to describe the books that should be defended--I responded to a couple of arguments such as these, and asked how they define or decide the worth and legitimacy--I asked not to problematize for the sake of being critical, but because HB 2281 has shown that when going against ultraconservative legislators that book awards, student opinions, teacher opinions, and even research on the positive effects of courses with this literature do not change the minds of book banners.

The NCTE Twitter Feed on Storify

Friday, September 6, 2013

My Small Scope Narrative in College Composition and Communication Journal

The Family Profession

College Composition and Communication is not just my favorite conference of the academic year, but it's also an important top tier journal in the field, so I am super excited to have a vignette of mine featured in this month's special issue on the profession. A few months back, I actually also posted a digital story that actually accompanies this piece because it inspired the "story" I was able to tell.

Here's the digital story I composed, inspired by my CCC vignette. If you're not a CCC subscriber, my 3 minute digital story, or digital testimonio, will provide a good idea of what the vignette addresses.

on the profession edit with video 0001 from Cruz Medina on Vimeo.